Design Research Seminar (Sparkman)

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Archive for October 2011

Lexicon 7

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soft city (n) – like the emergent city: a city that is the cumulative sum of our interactions and interconnections. The city exhibits a soft character: subject to its inhabitants’ lives, dreams, and interpretations.
Jonathan Raban, Soft City (Glasgow: William Collins, 1974), 9-16.
the right to the city (n) – first proclaimed by Lefebvre as a “demand… [for] transformed and renewed access to urban life,” and redefined by Harvey as “the individual liberty to access urban resources: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city.”
Henri Lefebvre, Writings on Cities (Cambridge: Blackwell, 1968), 158.
“The question of what kind of city we want cannot be divorced from that of what kind of social ties, relationship to nature, lifestyles, technologies, and aesthetic values we desire. The right to the city is far more than the individual liberty to access urban resources: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city. It is, moreover, a common rather than an individual right since this transformation inevitably depends upon the exercise of a collective power to reshape the processes of urbanization. The freedom to make and remake our cities and ourselves is, I want to argue, one of the most precious yet most neglected of our human rights.” in David Harvey, “The Right to the City,” New Left Review 53 (1998).
infra-urbanism (n) – the urban architecture of the sixties and seventies: urban slab development and the motorway, with the added dimension of depth. This underground city was for technical networks and public transportation (metro and motorways). However, underground public spaces had not been conceived.
Florence Bougnoux et al., Les Halles: Villes Intérieures (Marseille: Éditions Parenthèses, 2008), 16-18.
interior city (n) – an underground urbanism set at the confluence of a transportation node and a commercial shopping center. Some examples include: Rockafeller Center (New York City), Shinjuku (Tokyo), and La Ville Intérieure (Montréal). They exhibit all of the functional qualities of a consolidated city.
Florence Bougnoux et al., Les Halles: Villes Intérieures (Marseille: Éditions Parenthèses, 2008), 16-18.

Written by csparkman

October 28, 2011 at 1:16 pm

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Case Studies 1: Surgical Incisions

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Eisenmann’s Cannaregio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weiss/Manfredi’s Columbus Circle

Written by csparkman

October 28, 2011 at 12:31 am

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Lexicon 6

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collage city (n) – a rejection of the grand utopian visions of “total planning” and “total design,” supplanted by the “collage city” which can accommodate a range of utopias in miniature.
Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter, Collage City (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1978), 1-4.
grid (n/v) – the “antinatural, antimimetic, antireal,” yet fundamental organizational device of the city.
“The grid is ‘the best and quickest way to organize a homogeneous population with a single purpose.’ On the other hand, whenever a heterogeneous group of people comes together spontaneously, they tend to organize themselves in an interlocking urban pattern that interconnects them without homogenizing them. in Manuel de Landa, A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History (Brooklyn: Zone Books, 1997), 30-1.
“In the spatial sense, the grid states the autonomy of the realm of art. Flattened, geometricized, ordered, it is antinatural, antimimetic, antireal. It is what art looks like when it turns its back to nature. In the flatness that results from its coordinates, the grid is the means of crowding out the dimensions of the real and replacing them with the lateral result not of imitation, but of aesthetic decree. Insofar as its order is that of pure relationship, the grid is a way of abrogating the claims of natural objects to have an order particular to themselves; the relationships in the aesthetic field are shown by the grid to be in a world apart and, with respect to natural objects, to be both prior and final.” in Rosalind Krauss, “Grids,” October 9 [Reprinted in: The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1985), 9-22.
ladder (n) – a persistent void that allows future generations to make their impression on the city. Ladders allow for growth, difference, contestation, and relativisms on an urban scale.
Albert Pope, Ladders (New York: Phaidon, 1996), 1-13.

Written by csparkman

October 21, 2011 at 12:15 am

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Mid-Review

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I’ve attached the site animation from my mid-review booklet below. Sparkman_Animation

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October 14, 2011 at 12:27 am

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Lexicon 5

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URBANISM is an ongoing project. It is a process that manifests our collective imaginations in place. Therefore, cities represent society’s shifting obsessions, ambitions, and ideologies. Cities are resilient organisms that aggregate over time. Through our persistent engagement with the city, each generation leaves a layer upon the city to be interpreted by successive generations.
mineralization/petrification (n) – urbanism as a geologic process of excavating the ground (or preconditions of the site) to create “civilizing terrains,” and “common grounds,” the framework of the city.
William Morrish, Civilizing Terrains: Mountains, Mounds, and Mesas (San Francisco: William Stout, 1989), 1-2.
“About eight thousand years ago, human populations began mineralizing again when they developed an urban exoskeleton: bricks of sundried clay became building materials for their homes, which in turn surrounded and were surrounded by stone monuments and defensive walls. This exoskeleton served a purpose similar to its internal counterpart: to control the movement of human flesh in and out of a town’s walls. The urban exoskeleton also regulated the movement of many other things: luxury objects, news, and food…Thus, the urban infrastructure may be said to perform, for tightly packed populations of humans, the same function of motion control that our bones do in relation to our fleshy parts. And, in both cases, adding minerals to the mix resulted in a fantastic combinatorial explosion.” in Manuel de Landa, A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History (Brooklyn: Zone Books, 1997), 24-6.
emergence (n) – the study of systems that exhibit bottom-up organization. As it pertains to the city, simple rules and interactions (spatial practices) generate complex forms and fabric.
Steven Johnson, Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software (New York: Scribner, 2001), 73-4.
collage (v) – to assume the role of a “bricoleur,” operating within a realm of ceaseless fragmentation, collision, superimposition, and contamination of successive social spaces; to perceive preceding generations as a virtual collage underpinning the city’s current fabric.
Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter, Collage City (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1978), 102-3.

Written by csparkman

October 14, 2011 at 12:12 am

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Lexicon 4

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ways of seeing (n) – designers must see like economists, geologists, sociologists, and anthropologists to respond to forces that are not readily apparent to traditional practices. Designers must also acknowledge that sight and “the power to see” is hegemony.
John Berger, Ways of Seeing (London: Penguin, 1990), 3
“The act of seeing is an act that proceeds action, a kind of preaction partly explained by Searle’s studies of ‘intentionality.’ If seeing is in fact foreseeing, no wonder forecasting has recently become an industry in its own right, with the rapid rise of professional simulation and company projections, and ultimately, hypotheticaly, the advent of ‘vision machines’ designed to see and foresee in our place.” in Paul Virilio, The Vision Machine (Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1994), 61.
void (n) – a physical or perceived vacancy. Voids are the “heart of the city,” the engines that propel urbanism. We create physical or perceived voids where our creative imagination can operate.
“It is not the built form that characterizes the contemporary city, but the immense spaces over which built form has little or no control. These spaces, which overwhelm the architectural gesture, ultimately dominate the contemporary urban environment. The inaccessibility of these places exists because our commodity-bound words like “buildings” and “places” cannot account for voids, as voids are forces that designers typically work against. These spaces are also voids because they are not focused on, and when focused on they become filled.” in Albert Pope, Ladders (New York: Phaidon, 1996), 3-4.

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October 7, 2011 at 12:11 am

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